According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drunk driving kills 30 people a day—one person every 53 minutes. There can be tremendous loss of life associated with a drunk driving crash, and the financial impact is felt by those involved in the crash and the public which continues to face increasing insurance premiums.
When you or a family member is injured or killed in a drunk driving crash, there are legal means to recover compensation. In Texas, you can recover for many types of damages including current and future medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, and grief counseling.
In Texas, you are also entitled to seek punitive damages if you were injured or a family member was killed by a drunk driver. The intent is to inflict further punishment on the drunk driver for his behavior and choices.
Important Steps To Take If You’re The Victim Of A Drunk Driving Crash
When you’re hit by a drunk driver, there are steps you should take that may affect the outcome of your case. Even before you know for sure that the driver who caused the crash was drunk, be sure to do all of the following:
- Assess your injuries. Immediately following the crash, determine the extent of your injuries and the injuries of everyone involved. Even if you feel your injuries are minor, it’s wise to be examined by a doctor as soon as possible. You may not feel the full extent of your pain and injuries until later.
- Call police to the scene right away. It’s important that you notify the police as soon as possible. Police officers will offer assistance and get quick response from medical personnel. Also, police are needed to determine if the person driving the car was impaired. Unless law enforcement is called to the scene to gather evidence and prove intoxication, the arrest and prosecution of a drunk driver may not happen.
- Collect and keep copies of medical and police records. Insurance money may not always cover a victim’s financial loss and emotional suffering. The costs of medical treatments, funeral expenses, vehicle damage, and loss of income or earning capacity can be catastrophic. You have a better chance of reaching a fair settlement if you can provide your attorney with as much documentation from doctors and the police as possible.
- Consider contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately. Although it may seem difficult to rehash the crash and discuss the facts of the case, there’s limited time for you to seek compensation. In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years.
In 2013, 10,076 people died in drunk driving crashes—one every 52 minutes. And Texas led the nation with 1,337 deaths. With such a high fatality rate, it’s important that you know what to do should you be involved in a DUI-related crash. If you’d like more information, call us today at 817-380-4888 to talk with an experienced attorney about your case.